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  • Max Bailey

3 Tips For Effectively Using Discount Codes in your E Marketing Strategy

3 ways online businesses can incorporate discount codes in their e marketing strategy to drive sales

In the fast paced world of online shopping, gaining, retaining and converting consumers is a challenge that every digital marketing strategy tries to solve. One method that can help digital marketers is the use of discount codes (E coupons). E coupons should be a fundamental part of any E marketing strategy, with Invesp finding out that the number of E coupons redeemed between 2014 to 2019 almost doubling from 560m in 2014 to 1.05bn in 2019 - with that number still growing.

Discount codes are a tried and tested way of attracting customers, retaining customers and most importantly driving sales by giving consumers that extra little incentive they need to go ahead with a purchase. It's because of this that discount codes should be a pivotal part of an integrated digital marketing strategy.

Figures from Invesp highlight how 'Coupons' can attract, retain and drive sales with customers. Discount codes can help attract customers through the use of Brand Marketing with 68% of consumers believing that the use of discount codes helps build brand awareness. The same number (68%) of consumers state that the use of coupons generates loyalty which demonstrates the importance discount codes bring to customer retention. 59% of consumers say that out of all types of promotions a retailer can employ, digital coupons are still the biggest factor which can influence a purchasing decision which shows the impact coupons bring to driving sales.

So we can see that discount codes are important, but offering them in an effective way is vital in ensuring the effectiveness of a discount code strategy. Read below to see some of the ways your online business can deploy a successful discount code strategy.

Personalise Promotional Codes to Reach the Right People

It’s common knowledge among marketers that different segments have different preferences in regards to motivations to make a purchase. This is something that shouldn't be shied away from, as it often is, but rather something that is embraced and utilised. Understanding the wants and needs of different user segments is key for this step to work and when achieved it can be leveraged to market different discount codes to different segments. This will help optimise the effectiveness of utilising discount codes in your e marketing strategy.

Personalisation can be achieved by offering different discount codes to different customer segments. For example fast shipping may be of particular interest to younger demographics - offering a discount code for free next day shipping to this audience segment may attract their attention. It’s not just about marketing different discount codes to different segments but also accompanying certain promotions with the relevant advertising material. If you are offering a coupon of 20% off site wide, there’s not much use advertising this offer on Facebook to middle aged men with an advert for your swimsuit range. Find the interests of different customer segments and personalise your promotion/advertising of these discount codes with the right sorts of content.

Send Discount Codes at the Right Time

It’s not just important to be sending the discount code to the right customer with the right sort of content but it’s also important to reach your customers at the right time.

The timing of discount codes can be thought of in two ways - when its good for you as a retailer and when its good for them as a customer.

For you as a retailer, it’s good for you to drive sales and gain attention when sales are slow. This is when you want to be offering larger discounts or even free products to attract sales and customers even if the discount code makes the sales themselves not so lucrative in terms of profitability. Here it is about building brand awareness and gaining new customers, after all many of these low margin sales may not have even been a sale without the discount code.

Factors that affect when offering a discount is good for a customer will come down to sending promo codes during holidays or when it is peak season (think summer time for a bikini web store or Christmas time for a greeting card store). This is a period when competition may be more fierce so promotions here will help people buy from you rather than your customers. This is when the previous point adds value, as you have built customer loyalty and brand awareness in slow times which can be leveraged during peak periods. At these times your e marketing strategy should have discount codes as a key way to attract customers.

Another great time to send a discount code is with a focus on a particular product. Do you have certain products that perform exceptionally well or sell out? When restocking these items, email your customer notifying them of the restock and offer a small discount code with a limited time to incentivise people to buy the product before it may sell out again.

Have a Limited Time on the Discount Codes you Offer

This brings me on to the next and final point which is to have your discount code available for a limited time.

You don’t want your customers taking your discount codes for granted and thinking it is something they can redeem when the time is right. This won’t do much in tackling shopping cart abandonment or attracting new customers who may forget about you and the offer all together.

You want to create a sense of urgency and make customer FOMO into a decision to make a purchase on your website. This is especially true when advertising the discount code either through social media or email marketing. Use words such as ‘Offer Ends Today’ or ‘Whilst Stocks Last’ to make your customers feel like they will miss the offer if they don’t act fast.

So in conclusion it is apparent that discount codes are an important tool for any digital marketer and should be integrated in e marketing efforts throughout the year. Whether integrated in social media marketing or email marketing - getting the right offers to the right people can make a big difference in attracting and retaining customers and driving sales. Just remember the more you know about your target customers the more effective your discount code strategy will be. It will help you personalise your offer and get the right discount codes to the right people at the right time.



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